As with Brooks Stevens, the involvement of Dick Cole in the hull design of the first generation Evinrude boats seems to be a career  footnote. Cole was a designer for hire with his firm making most of it’s money from per unit royalties. Ralph Lambrecht – OMC’s Chief Engineer for the entire run of the 1962-1970 boats – hired Cole to do the design of the Evinrude boat.


Lee Wangstad  - the historian of  Fiberglass boats - has provided some very valuable material and insight to this site. I asked Lee about Dick Cole and among other things he replied…




“In my interviews with Dick Cole we talked mostly about the early Thunderbird boats, including the cathedral hull.  We also discussed the Botved Coronet and Imperial Boats (built in Japan).  He certainly had some interesting stories, but his mention of doing the hulls for OMC was just more of that, a mention.  He felt his major achievement was the Wellcraft Air-Slot  , which corrected (he felt) all of the problems inherent with the cathedral hull.”


So while we’d like to think that the Evinrude hull design was a labor of love it seems it was  - as in the case of Brooks Stevens – a work order. Not very sexy but when you think of it the talent of these two designers was so great that they were able to create a line of extraordinary boats all in a days work!


Below the Waterline...Dick Cole

Click here to read a 1957 article about Dick Cole from Popular Boating magazine

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